Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Surface Laptop 3 is that it throws the future of the Surface Book into question. Microsoft was originally believed to be launching a Book 3 today, but instead opted for the new Surface Laptop.
By including a 15-inch variant, one could argue there is no longer a point in the Surface Book. For 2-in-1 needs, consumers can choose the Surface Pro 7 and for those seeking a traditional PC experience, the Surface Laptop 3 is the answer.
Indeed, the company put the Surface Laptop 3 as the opening launch device on the show, highlighting its growing importance. Surface head Panos Panay said the previous generations of the device has the best customer satisfaction scores in the sector.
Certainly, the Surface Laptop 3 is beautiful, and Panay says it is important that the device works as a laptop. The keyboard experience remains hugely important, with the 1.3mm trvale from the last generation. Microsoft also made the trackpad 20 percent.
— Microsoft Surface (@surface) October 2, 2019
Microsoft knows that powerusers want an upgradeable laptop. Surface devices have traditionally been hard to service and repair. That changes today as the Laptop 3 comes with a removeable front deck. Yes, it still requires tools, but it is now easy to get into the innards.
Elsewhere, there is an all-aluminum Surface Laptop, so Microsoft has not compromised on the design of the device.
Looking at the core specs, the third generation Surface Laptop does get the 10th Gen Intel-core processor. Microsoft says the device is three times more powerful than the Apple MacBook Air. Intel’s CPU is coupled with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.
As predicted, Microsoft also introduced a 15-inch variant of the Surface Laptop 3. This version retains the same 3:2 aspect ratio as the smaller model despite that larger IPS display.
Also as predicted, AMD Ryzen is on board with a Microsoft Surface edition of the processer. Panos described it as AMD’s most powerful processor ever. A collaboration between Microsoft and AMD, the AMD-powered Surface Laptop 3.
Because of AMD mobile processing and tweaks in Intel models, all Surface devices now support fast charging. Impressively, new Surface devices, including the Laptop 3 can charge in an hour up to 80%.
Both the 13-inch and 15-inch are available on pre-order ahead of an October 22 launch. The smaller device starts at $999, while the 15-inch model starts at $1199.